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File photo of a French Coast Guard vessel which assisted in the interception of the Russian ship Shutterstock/Photomarine
Sanctions

France intercepts Russian ship in the English Channel

The interception was triggered by financial sanctions levied days ago against Russia.

FRENCH OFFICIALS SAY marines patrolling the English Channel have intercepted a cargo ship sailing under the Russian flag and escorted it to the port of Boulogne-Sur-Mer for an investigation.

The interception of the ship, carrying cars, early on Saturday was triggered by financial sanctions levied days ago against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Maritime spokesperson Veronique Magnin said it appeared to be the first such action in the English Channel.

The 130-metre ship was headed from Rouen in Normandy to St Petersburg, and was stopped near Honfleur, Magnin said.

Customs officials carrying out the investigation were verifying if the vessel is linked to Russian financial interests. The process could take up to 48 hours.

The French government has given maritime officials the power to intercept vessels suspected of contravening the sanctions, she said.

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